She took snapshots
of the little brown bats
— the baby pups fallen
from the porch eaves.
Their skin was hairless, paper thin,
stretched over folded wings.
Two were shriveled and dead;
–flat like a dried summer flower–
lying on the bricked entry.

This one is still alive, she said.
She had watched it crawl
from where it fell,
across the cracks
of the rough red bricks;
thin, parched and panting
— until it reached the lip
of the front door entry.

He (such a strong pup
must be a he)
pulled himself into the corner
and stayed,
hanging upside down,
resting his head on the ground.
She heard him utter a small squeak,
and then he was still.

Hours later, we stand
and peer up into the eaves.
Is the pup’s mother there
amongst the many brown
balls of fur,
wedged in tight,
waiting for dark?
We wonder if he would drink
and what —
water? nectar?
We long to make a gesture of compassion
an act of kindness.
We keep watch.

Shadows are getting long
in the orchard
when I venture out again.
Gently I brush his quiet body
with the seed head
on a stalk of wild oats.
He shifts his wings and settles.

The next morning
his corner is empty.
Was a message sent to his people?
Did they carry him home?
Is he resting safe and secure?
My heart lifts in hope.

Written for the Sunday Wordle.



Enter with intent;
walk the circles of sand,
of parched dirt, gravel or grass;
of aqua tile or time worn brick.
Weave your way inward
on the walkways marked
by smooth stones, sticks or a hedge.
Let your mind weave and wander,
pause, wait
— take a moment to contemplate —
One foot forward, measured and slow
don’t hurry — listen,
be present and flow.
When you reach the center,
drink in the peace.

Prompt from Poets United.

The Silent Treatment

When we fight your lower lip pouts
like that baby picture hanging
in your mother’s house.

You not-quite-slam the door
and stomp to the barn.
(I should’ve said less)
I go to bed to escape the silence
that grows from inches
to feet
to miles.
(stupid, stubborn,
why won’t he come to bed?)

After midnight, you slide into our bed;
there is a cold-sheeted gap
between our turned backs.
I squeeze my eyes shut
and force regular breathing.

My cautious casual bump against you
(I’m sorry)
meets with stone
and I draw back; reconstruct
the gap.

In the morning, you reach for me
and I wiggle close,
sleeping snug in smiling silence.

Written from Adele’s prompt on Silence.


Her name was Jasmine
but her mouth
was hard as granite.

She grabbed the bit
and ran like demons
were on her tail.

Her domain was the racetrack
until she was tossed aside,
a flawed, unwanted scrap of horse.

I taught her to waltz
to a music montage;
to swing with Shubert and Chopin.

She hated feeling trapped
so I left a window open
in the release of the reins.

When I whistle across glowing grass
and clover, she gallops to me;
the sunset shining in her mane.

Sunday Wordle prompt!  (written for all my friends who have rescued horses from the track and trained them in dressage)

White Water

Rocks litter the river; shore stones
wine skinned and whiskey smooth were once
deep water drunk, jagged and sharp.

The river rapids rush with abundance;
wild spray and splash
until they empty into summer’s sun-bleached lack.

I tumbled through the torrent;
snagging on saw-edged heartbreak,
before resting in the sand – battle weary, bruised and bent.

Prompts:  Poets United Vice Versa prompt and dVerse  for the Triversen form.

Jail Break

In the grey light of almost-dawn
we found the fence break.
I jumped the rail cleanly;
Flash followed, pushing
the rail to the ground.
Jackson studied the situation
before carefully stepping over.

We could hear the howl of coyotes
as Flash led us
down the deserted road.
He flicked his ear at us in warning
when we crowded his broad rump
for security.

At the pond
our hooves sank in the thick muck;
we waded out
belly deep
and drank.
The mallards took flight.
Back on shore we rolled;
mud turning Jackson’s silver to brown.

Spring’s green grass was gone
and a sinister buzz
came from the dried weeds.
I lowered my long nose
to investigate.
Flash pushed me aside
with his stocky shoulders
and something gold and brown
–like a thick lead rope —
slithered past.
I manured.

Jackson’s head was bobbing;
he went lame on us.  Again.
So we took him home.
Flash marched along,
steady and strong,
a glint of laughter
in his blue eyes.
I danced behind
on my lanky legs;
ready to run wild.

This was written from Joseph Harker’s Reverie prompt.